CONCORD – DeAndre Boykins has been courted by more than 20 of the nation’s top football programs over the past few years, and he’s visited college campuses far and wide.
On Wednesday, however, the Central Cabarrus star decided to put an end to his frenzied recruitment and chose to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Boykins’ commitment to the Tar Heels and coach Mack Brown was first reported by the website Inside Carolina, which said Boykins gave its recruiting analyst, Don Callahan, the news Wednesday evening.
At 5 foot 11 and 185 pounds, Boykins is a four-star prospect who completed his junior season with the Vikings last November. During the 2019 season, in which he missed multiple games because of injury, he led Central Cabarrus in rushing with 603 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had 48 tackles on defense with three interceptions.
As a starter at Central Cabarrus since his freshman season, Boykins has played numerous positions, including safety, cornerback, linebacker, running back and quarterback. He was named the South Piedmont 3A Conference Special Teams Player of the Year following his junior campaign.
On many of the recruiting websites, Boykins is listed as an all-purpose back. He has been ranked as high as the No. 3 prospect in North Carolina for the Class of 2021 by some scouting services.
In addition to North Carolina, Boykins had scholarship offers from powerhouse programs such as Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Auburn and South Carolina, among a litany of others schools.
In Chapel Hill, Boykins will join his cousin, Concord native Kedrick Bingley-Jones, on the Tar Heels' roster. Bingley-Jones is a former A.L. Brown standout who transferred to Charlotte Providence Day for his last two seasons. Bingley-Jones, a defensive lineman, is in the Class of 2020 but enrolled at UNC in January so he could get a jump-start with the team.
Boykins is the younger brother of former Central Cabarrus three-star linebacker Derek Boykins, who signed with South Carolina in 2019 before entering the transfer portal last fall and signing to play for the Charlotte 49ers.